Finalmente Azarado

Nicote sat with his back against the dank stone, arms and legs weighed down by the immense chains bolted to his ankles and wrists. Ribeiro sat across fom him, similarly bound, his head drooping. Nicote cleared his throat grinned, feeling the gap where the guard’s spear-butt had knocked out his front tooth. “Another tight spot, […]

Gentrification

I was on my way to Essex station to catch the F uptown when I saw Schmecky, buttoned-down in topcoat and bowler as though he just stepped out of a Civil War daguerrotype. “Hey hey! Samuel!” he croaked. We shook hands. Up close he did not look good. Bags under his eyes, deep creases bracketing […]

Father Cares

It was just after eleven when the bell began tolling. The loudspeakers played a recording from the San Francisco Temple days, the whole church singing Go down, Moses, way down in Egypt’s land Tell ole Pharoah to let my people go while Father’s voice, urgent yet  calm, said the words I’d come to dread these […]

Immoveable Object

She lay in bed a long time trying to put it off as long as she could, to summon the will. Not a morning person  she used to say, when there had been anyone to say it to. No reason now to see anyone. The government check came on the fifth every month, ALDI delivered […]

Sudan Dig, 1906

“I say, Petrie. Just in time.” Sir Francis sat in the spreading shade of the tent. He motioned to the servant who carried over a glittering salver on which a pair of cups stood, frost beading the cold pewter. “Gin and quinine, just like we drink in Calcutta.” Petrie removed his pith helmet and swabbed […]

Swimming Upstream

As Mahala walked into the interview, she ran her tongue over her unbrushed teeth and thought shit. Everything had gone wrong from the start. The midnight power outage that reset the clocks and caused her to oversleep, the Google directions to the wrong building, the newly-discovered fact she was wearing mismatched shoes. Close but no […]

Let’s Get Out Of Here

Crouching, she tried to look out the grime-encrusted window. “You think he saw us?” “Doubtful. Besides, people come here all the time.” “So you keep saying.” “Let’s walk around.” Their feet crunched the rubble that littered the floor, motes of dust hanging in the still air as they moved through the vast room. Long tables […]

Hands Around The Circle

The tea was laid out, the sandwiches made with Arnold’s Brick Oven crustless  bread. Salmon spread from Klein’s, Cracker Barrel cheese and pimento.  Gladys had mentioned Girl Scout cookies, so Ethel had not laid out dessert, though she had plenty of reserves. Hydrox, marshmallow creams, Chips Ahoy. The cars began to arrive around 2, the […]

Pomp

In essence, it was a royal journey through the Carniolan estates so His Majesty might receive the hereditary homage in person. Simple enough, but Emperor Leopold placed great value in pomp. Nothing less than three brigades of horse guards in full turn-out, fifteen gilt carriages to carry what amounted to his entire court, dozens of […]

Exodus

Tante Sarah was having none of it. To the Via Dolorosa she said “it looks like Spain.” To the Wailing Wall she said “I’ve seen it on the television. I think George Bush kissed it. Feh.” “Was it a bad idea to being her here?” Rachel asked her husband. Moishe shrugged. “She’ll get used to […]